I know this has been discussed ad nauseam, and I don't plan on adding anything too much new to it, but I am so so so so sick of copyright issues. I mean, you try to do the right thing, but it's so hard. Especially for us computer geeks, who know how to configure everything and where all the "alternatives" are.
The latest example:
So Donovan scored that goal for the US in the World Cup. Now I don't give two sh-ts about soccer, but I like a good sports story, so I at least wanted to see what happened. Naturally, my first instinct is to go to ESPN.com. Any highlights? No. As they do with many sports that they don't own the copyrights to (I'm thinking some tennis tournaments, etc...you know, the less popular ones), they don't have any actual highlights. They just have talking heads discussing the game. Like I want to listen to them. And they trick you by putting a picture of the play as the static photo with the "play" button watermarked on it, but when you click on it, you just get the analysts. So ESPN (THE sports website doesn't have the highlight).
The next obvious thing to try: google. So I search for "donovan goal video". What do I get? Jack squat. A bunch of stupid sites that for some reason have the word video and usa algeria, and all the other right words, but no actual video of the goal. In fact, many of them don't have a video of anything. Of course, many also have more people talking about the goal, but not the goal itself.
Great, now I think, "Oh! duh...why don't I just go to FIFA's website. Surely, they must have the highlights." Well, it looks like they do...but none of the videos play for me. So I think maybe it's my ad muncher blocking it. So I tweak the settings, and even turn it off. no go. I shouldn't doubt ad muncher anyway, since it's pretty rock solid with this stuff. Then I research a little bit and I find out that FIFA blocks the videos in certain countries because of copyright issues. Now, i don't know if that was the problem with me, but I wouldn't be surprised.
I mean, what the F?? Seriously. How does this not drive you crazy?? Give me one good reason why i shouldn't go get the torrent for this game and watch it in peace? Heck, I don't even care about the game, I just want to see that goal!! My experience is telling me that it's less hassle to download a huge ~4GB (I don't know how big it is) video file just to watch 30 seconds, than it is to go to the "right" places to watch it.
Now, please, i'm not interested in where all you guys watch the videos. I'm sure some of you will tell me I'm not going to the right website..."Why don't you just go to something.com?" That's not the point. My point is, why do this to people? It's wrong. it's mean. It's disrespectful.
Why do commercials on these highlight videos play quickly and flawlessly, and when the main content arrives, it loads slowly and is often choppy? It's not an innocent mistake. It's done intentionally. Once again, it is disrespectful to the public consumers.
And speaking about ESPN highlight videos, here's a rant for you. I go there to watch NBA highlights during the season. Do you know what they do? First of all, they make sure to compress the highlights into the shortest time possible. No more than 30 seconds. God forbid we actually get to somewhat digest the game. not only that, but the first 15 seconds is an ESPN schmuck who tells you about the game. I DON"T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT JIM BASQUIL...SHOW ME KOBE!!! So now, the game video is only 15 seconds. So how do the choose what to show in this precious few seconds? Well, they normally start in the 4th quarter, because surly, nobody cares about the first three-quarters of the game. In fact, the schmuck announcer often says, "And we go straight to the 4th...". Now, to top it off, after you are blessed with 15 seconds of game video, you get about 30 seconds of a screen that shows the box score. And the schmuck is talking this whole time as well.
So in this age where we have all this technology, we see even less than we did 20 years ago. Why is there such a time restriction on the NBA highlights? It's not like it's on TV, it's the internet!! You can make it as long as you want, nobody is going to care? Ah, but somebody does. I suspect it's also a copyright issue. I'll bet, and I'm not 100% sure, but I'll bet that the NBA only allows a certain number of seconds of video to be shown before ESPN has to pay additional copyright fees or something. I can't logically explain it any other way. Either that, or ESPN is truly an asshole and they just want to piss everybody off.
We have multiple camera angles, we have super slow motion technology, we have so much...yet we get to see so little. We honestly see less than we did 20 years ago. These corporations are so intensely focused on their copyright protection, that they protect their content all the way to zero-viewership. They spend millions of dollars getting all the camera angles and slow motion capability, but the public only sees like 1% of it. So what happens to the rest? They store it somewhere. Someday, when a millionaire producer wants to make a documentary, he can comb through those videos and find some footage for himself. The rest of us? Sorry. Pretty great, eh?